One of the major challenges to health care of children in the world today is to get vitamin A supplementation or fortification into common foods. Vitamin A supplementation significantly reduces children’s risk of dying from infectious diseases.
One method of supplementing vitamin A is to give a single 50 000 unit dose of oral vitamin A to all children at 6 weeks as part of the routine immunisation schedule. This is followed by 100 000 units at 9 months and then 200 000 units at 12 months and every 6 months thereafter until 5 years. All children with measles should be given 200 000 units of vitamin A orally daily for 2 days.
The body can make vitamin A from carotene which is present in yellow fruits and vegetables (e.g. mangoes, pawpaws, carrots, pumpkin, butternut, sweet potatoes) as well a green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach). Vitamin A is present in breast milk, liver, butter and margarine. Vitamin A fortification of basic foods is another method of ensuring adequate amounts of vitamin A in the diet.
Yellow fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamin A.